You need a Mechanical Permit to install devices regulated by the Philadelphia Mechanical Code. This includes:
- Heating, venting, and air conditioning.
- Commercial kitchen hoods.
You don’t need a Mechanical Permit for:
- Small appliances.
- Ordinary repairs or maintenance to mechanical systems and portable equipment.
Boiler installations are regulated by the PA Department of Labor and Industry.
Some kinds of mechanical work are eligible for EZ permits, which do not require you to submit plans. This includes:
- New installations in one-or-two-family dwellings.
- Replacing appliances in one-or-two-family dwellings.
- Ductwork in a tenant space where the equipment capacity is less than 2,000 cubic ft. per minute.
- Relocating registers and diffusers with no change in air-flow rates or building occupancy.
Any property owner or their authorized agent can apply. Authorized agents may include:
- Design professionals.
- Licensed expediters.
The permit application must include the complete scope of work and current owner information.
- If the property was recently sold, submit a copy of the settlement sheet or deed with the application.
- You must apply for all permits under the legal address established by the Office of Property Assessment (OPA).
A licensed contractor must perform all work. The contractor must:
- Have an active license.
- Be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes.
- Have current insurance on file with L&I.
Sheet metal work must be performed by a registered sheet metal technician or apprentice employed by the contractor.
If your application requires plans, they must follow plan requirements.
Plans are not required if the work is eligible for an EZ permit.
Forms and documents
- Exhaust fan, makeup air fan, listed kitchen hood specifications: For commercial kitchen exhaust systems only
- Energy conservation compliance documentation: COMcheck Report, ASHRAE 90.1 compliance reports or energy cost budget
- Ventilation calculations: May be requested by plans examiner if rates shown on plans are questionable
- Asbestos Inspection Report: Required if a building was constructed prior to December 31, 1980 and the cost of work exceeds $50,000.
- This report must be completed by a licensed inspector.
- This isn’t required if a report was filed with an associated building permit.
- A Building Permit is required to get a Mechanical Permit for new construction, additions, and alterations that require mechanical systems.
- Any new plumbing or alterations to plumbing that serves mechanical systems may require a Plumbing Permit.
- If any component of the system requires electrical power you need an Electrical Permit.
- Paint spray booths and large boilers may require a permit from the Philadelphia Department of Health.
For historic properties
You need approval from
The Historical Commission
You must have this approval in order to apply. L&I will refuse your permit application without Historical Commission approval. See how to get approval for work to a historic property.
You’ll need your plans with stamped approval from the Historical Commission before you make your application at the Permit and License Center in the MSB.
Submit your stamped plan as proof of approval when making your application.
For some healthcare and other medical facilities
You need approval from
The Pennsylvania Department of Health
Your plan must be approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Find more information about what’s needed and how to get approval.
You must submit a plan to the Pennsylvania Department of Health for compliance before applying at the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I). Bring a copy of your permit when you submit your L&I application at Permit and License Center in the MSB.
For encroachments in the City right-of-way
You need approval from
The Department of Streets
You’ll need to complete a Streets plan review. Find Streets plan review requirements and applicable forms for more information.
You’ll need your plan with stamped approval from Department of Streets before you make your application to L&I.
Once approved, submit your stamped plan with your other application materials when submitting in person at the Permit and License Center in the MSB.
For exhaust systems for enclosed or underground parking garages with more than 10 vehicles
You need approval from
The Department of Public Health – Air Management Services
You must work with Air Management and get an installation permit from Air Management Services prior to installing an underground or enclosed parking garage with a capacity of more than 10 vehicles. Visit the Air Management portal to apply for your permit.
Bring a copy of your Air Management permit when you submit your Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) application at Permit and License Center in the MSB.
Where and when
Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
MSB, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Office Hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
Offices close at Noon on the last Wednesday of each month.
Fee types that may apply
This fee is nonrefundable and must be turned in with your application. The fee will be credited toward the final permit fee.
- Per register or diffuser served by ductwork: $12
- Minimum Fee: $150
- Appliances (if submitted separately): $125 each, except $55 for each appliance in one-or-two-family dwellings
- Kitchen hoods: $125 each
- For the relocation of HVAC diffusers or registers with flexible connectors: $60 for the first 20, plus $3 per each above 20
- For direct vent heating apparatuses or warm air heating apparatus installation connected to a flue or chimney: $60 per unit, except $55 for each apparatus in one-or-two-family dwellings.
- For the installation of ductwork within a single-tenant space and the capacity of the equipment is equal to or less than 2,000 cubic ft. per minute: $60 per installation
- City surcharge: $3 per permit
- State surcharge: $4.50 per permit
Record retention fee
- Per page larger than 8.5 in. x 14 in.: $4
Accelerated Plan Review fee (optional)
Applications for new construction that include plans are eligible for expedited review. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5–10 business days.
- Fee: $540
- If your plans require more than four hours to review, you will be charged an additional fee of $135 per hour.
To apply, fill out an Accelerated Plan Review application and submit with your permit application. Amount must be paid when you submit your application and will not be credited toward your final permit fee.
You can apply for this permit in person at the Permit and License Center.
Applications with plans are reviewed within 20 business days.
- The applicant can accelerate the application for an additional fee. Accelerated applications are reviewed within 5-10 business days.
- Applications without plans are reviewed while you wait.
- Applications without plans must be made by a licensed contractor or include a signed statement on the Contractor’s letterhead verifying involvement with the project.
If not approved, the applicant will receive an email stating what is missing or required.
Before a permit may be issued, the contractor must be identified and confirm association with the project.
Contact your local inspection office when the contractor is ready to start work. The contact information and required inspections will be noted on your permit.
A Certificate of Approval will be issued upon successful completion of all required inspections.